Five Questions With: Michael Rudnick

Thought about your company’s server backup lately? Many of us haven’t. But ensuring your backup solutions are the best one for you can pay off with no lost time or money. The new year may be a great time to review what you have in place. Providence Business News spoke with Michael Rudnick, president and founder of information technology services company RCC, in Providence.

PBN: We recently saw a blog post that said for companies looking to figure out the best server-backup product they need, knowing their cost of downtime is crucial. Is there a standard calculation for this?

RUDNICK: Calculating downtime is complex … you have to factor in the size of the server, average hourly wage, revenue per hour, etc. For our clients, we use the Datto Recovery Time and Downtime Calculator. It’s publicly available at tools.datto.com/rto, or you can Google “Datto Downtime Calculator.”

PBN: Are there some industries that traditionally invest more heavily in data-backup methods than others?

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RUDNICK: The companies we see investing more in backup are determined more by need than industry. Take manufacturing, for example. I’ve talked extensively to manufacturers all over the state. Some can afford to lose access to their server and data for a few days. They might be OK with a very basic cloud backup. Others can’t afford to lose access for a few hours. They would invest in a business continuity solution. Business continuity is a very robust backup solution that can act as your server in case of emergencies. This all comes down to what their data is being used for and the cost of downtime.

PBN: It would be hard to believe, but do you still come across companies out there that have no server backups in place?

RUDNICK: Absolutely. Most companies understand that their data is valuable, but some don’t realize the importance of backup and business continuity. Some companies don’t realize that equipment can fail, destroying their important data. Others haven’t seen the damage a ransomware attack can cause as it locks away all of their company data. With a good backup system in place, companies that get attacked with ransomware can reinstall yesterday’s backup and be back in business. But there are always companies who think backups aren’t worth the money or who have bought a backup system but aren’t implementing it properly, such as making sure their nightly backups are successful.

PBN: What is a common misconception out there about server backups?

RUDNICK: That all backups are made equally. Every company needs a different level of backup protection. Some just need a reliable off-site backup, so they don’t lose everything after a disaster. Others need a full business continuity system, where their environment can be restored minutes after going down.

PBN: If you could suggest one thing to our readers for 2019 regarding backing up their data, what would it be?

RUDNICK: Determine the cost of downtime. Figure out how much it will cost your business if you are without your information for a day or a week. Some companies can still function if they are down for a full day. Others will start losing money after a few hours. Performing this exercise will help you determine what level of backup or business continuity protection you need.

Susan Shalhoub is a PBN contributing writer.